RINCON — There’s no popping 39-year-old Kenedra Coney’s enthusiasm for balloons. She has loved making things from them since she was a little girl.
Coney’s creations are limited only by her imagination. She can craft anything from a bee to a bulldozer out of air-filled bags of rubber.
“Ironically, my mom is afraid of balloons,” said Coney, owner of KC’s Goodies and Balloons. “She didn’t allow me to have balloons but, as I got older, I started doing balloons mostly for my kids. I did them for my cousins and went from there to — now — doing them professionally.”
Coney’s audience will be much bigger in November. She is set to participate in the Big Balloon Build in Kansas City, Missouri. She will be part of a talented international team that will use more than 100,000 balloons to build a winter wonderland in aid of Operation Breakthrough, an organization that provides a safe, loving and educational environment for children in poverty.
“I think the last one that they did filled up a whole stadium with balloons,” Coney said.
Coney will be in Kansas City with 65 other balloon professionals for five days. They have permission to recreate several Hasbro toys in their build.
Hasbro’s lineup includes Nerf, My Little Pony, Transformers, Play-Doh, Monopoly, Power Rangers, Peppa Pig and more.
“We will actually be following a design (plan),” Coney said. “Each of us will be working eight hours a day for five days.”
Fortunately, Coney and her cohorts won’t have to rely on strong lungs to fill their balloons. They will use battery-operated inflators.
“There will probably be hundreds of those there,” she explained.
Coney is looking forward to seeing the other balloon professionals at work so that she can learn something from them.
“Right now, I’m in that stage of trying to become a certified balloon artist,” Coney said. “That way I can go all over the world.”
To earn Big Balloon Build certification, Coney has to pass a written exam and demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency among a panel of other balloon artists.
Coney once made a dinosaur from balloons. It was one of her most complex projects to date.
“It was big,” she said. “I would say it took close to 350 balloons. It was for a birthday party.”
Coney, who has operated her business for 10 years, said she also enjoys balloon twisting.
“That’s mostly what I get calls for — doing balloon twisting and balloon art,” she said.
During the interview for this story, Coney twisted balloons together in the shape of a crown in a matter of seconds.
“People can see the different designs that I make on my website (www.kcgoodiesandballoons.com),” she said.
KC’s Goodies and Balloons can be reached at (912) 665-9986.